BAME and deprived communities receive healthy start funding

BAME babies receive £3.3m funding for a healthy start in life

A new, multi million pound funding package will benefit BAME and deprived communities to help give babies the best chance at a healthy start in life.

This new round of the Health and Wellbeing Fund has been launched with the theme of ‘starting well’ to improve outcomes for mothers and babies in deprived areas or from BAME backgrounds up to two-and-a-half years of age.

Applications are now open for charities to apply for a share of the fund in order to develop schemes around the theme of ‘starting well’. The funding will pay for three-year projects run by voluntary and community social enterprises (VCSEs) to help level up deprived communities and give children the best possible start in life.

A good start in life

The Health and Wellbeing Fund is already supporting 23 social prescribing schemes and 23 children and young people’s mental health schemes that are providing important services to communities across England.

The fund is open to applications from charity-run projects aimed at; improving perinatal mental health, reducing the percentage of babies born with low birthweight, increasing babies being breastfed, obesity prevention and support, reducing smoking or encouraging smoke-free homes, improving learning, speech and language development, and improving immunisation rates and reducing rates of preventable disease.

Public Health Minister Jo Churchill said: “Everyone deserves to live a long, healthy life, and we’re determined to reduce the inequality that some families face. We’re committed to start this work from birth, and the voluntary sector have an enormous role to play in its success.

“This year we have launched the Health and Wellbeing Fund which is centred around starting well, to make sure mothers have the help they need to make the right decisions to support their health, and the health of their babies.”

Chair of the Early Years Healthy Development Review, Andrea Leadsom, said: “As Chair of the Early Years Healthy Development Review, I am determined that every baby gets the best start in life, and the review will look at how to achieve world-class provision of services for new families. The Health and Wellbeing Fund is a fantastic funding opportunity for charities spearheading perinatal mental health and I encourage them to apply.”

Applications for the fund are open until Friday, 30 October 2020, at midday and the successful projects will be announced in December.

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